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William Bailey

April 30 - June 11, 2016

William Bailey Chorus, 2015 
William Bailey Reprise, 2015 
William Bailey Septet II, 2015 
William Bailey Dreaming in Umbria, 2015 
William Bailey Primavera, 2016 
William Bailey State Street Studio, 2010 

Press Release

William Bailey

April 30 – June 11, 2016

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 30th, 4 – 7 PM


I always drew; it was a way of capturing daydreams or of remembering things that I had seen. I didn’t draw directly form objects or people but always out of my head.

~ William Bailey


Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by William Bailey.  This will be the artist’s sixth exhibition at the Gallery, located at 15 Rivington Street, New York, NY. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Saturday, April 30th, from 4-7 PM.


The current exhibition features Bailey’s recent work, including still life, figures-in-landscape and figures-in-interior paintings and a single portrait. Characteristically, all of the works are composed soley from Bailey’s imagination, therefore familiar figures and objects often recur in his work throughout his career. Over time the figures and objects evolve and change with considered adjustments in shape, detail and position.  In three of the exhibition’s still lifes, titled Septet I, II, III, seven similar objects (a bowl, a cup, a candlestick and four eggs) inhabit each painting, albeit in unique compositions.

Although his places seem timeless, the modern world creeps in to his Umbrian landscapes. In Dreaming in Umbria, the figure holds a cigarette; in Cellular as the title indicates, the figure holds a cell phone. Bailey notes, “I believe that an artist should be of his time. This doesn’t mean that his time must be the subject of his work.”

Bailey was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  He attended the University of Kansas, School of Fine Arts.  After serving in the United States Army during the Korean War, he studied under Josef Albers at Yale where he received both his B.F.A. and M.F.A degrees.  He has been exhibiting in New York since the late 1960’s. William Bailey’s work can be seen in a host of public and private collections, most notably the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.  Bailey is the subject of two monographs, one by Mark Strand and the other by John Hollander and Guiliano Briganti. He lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut and Umbria, Italy.


Illustrated catalogue available.